New York Jets 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

Zach Wilson New York Jets NFL Draft Fantasy Football Quarterback

The New York Jets rebuild their franchise this offseason after snagging the #2 overall pick. They brought in 49ers’ coaches Robert Saleh to run the team, and Mike LaFleur to run the offense. The New York Jets also traded off their starcrossed quarterback, Sam Darnold, to the Carolina Panthers. They snagged quarterback Zach Wilson with that #2 overall pick, as well as a wide receiver and a running back in the 2021 NFL Draft. When the dust settled, the New York Jets used their first four picks on the offensive side of the ball. What can we expect from the newest members of the New York Jets in their rookie season for fantasy football?

Rd Pick Player Pos. College
1 2 Zach Wilson  QB BYU
1 14 Alijah Vera-Tucker OG USC
2 34 Elijah Moore  WR Ole Miss
4 107 Michael Carter  RB North Carolina
5 146 Jamien Sherwood S Auburn
5 154 Michael Carter II S Duke
5 175 Jason Pinnock CB Pittsburgh
6 186 Hamsah Nasirildeen S Florida State
6 200 Brandin Echols CB Kentucky
6 207 Jonathan Marshall DT Arkansas
Round 1, Pick 2 Overall: Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU (6’3” 210 pounds)
Depth Chart:
QB1:      Zach Wilson
QB2:      James Morgan
QB3:      Mike White

49ers fans worked themselves into a lather over Zach Wilson this season, and I can see why. His traits remind me of what we call “Good Jimmy (Garoppolo).” He has good release, touch, and zip on his passes. Zach Wilson processes the game quickly and holds onto the ball late into the down to find the perfect pass. He is fearless, the #1 trait that makes Garoppolo tick. Underneath that, however, is a much better quarterback who would be perfect for the Kyle Shanahan system.

Zach Wilson’s completion percentage was very high because the offense aided him with a lot of quick-hitter throws. That’s fine, but it hides the arm talent and the ability to throw on the run. He’s not Joe Flacco, but he can chuck it downfield with ease. Wilson is clearly a first-round prospect but is a step below Justin Fields and Trey Lance for me because he leaves the pocket too quickly and relies on his legs, as he is a young Aaron Rodgers level rusher. Think of him as what we wish Drew Lock could be.


Look at that depth chart; nobody is coming for Zach Wilson’s job, no matter how bad he plays. The Jets built a one-man depth chart at QB and will give him every opportunity to succeed in this offense. The new-look Jets brought over Kyle Shanahan’s right-hand man to run the office, but don’t have the running back weaponry to run a Kyle Shanahan offense well. It looks like they will turn to the air to move the ball, which means plenty of opportunities for Zach Wilson to succeed.

The New York Jets will have plenty of competent wide receivers for Wilson to throw to but without a standout receiver. They also have basically zero competent tight ends and running backs on the roster. Wilson will have all the opportunity to succeed, but his talent level and the talent level of those around him might limit his rookie year upside.


Quarterbacks are more ready than ever to produce right out of the gate. It’s hard to question Wilson’s readiness, but Baker Mayfield was also ready to go in his rookie year. Being ready to go doesn’t guarantee any sort of fantasy football production out of the gate. Zach Wilson is a guy you want to get in all 2QB leagues since he’s virtually guaranteed 17 games this year, but in 1QB leagues, I’m only snagging him as a speculative QB2 in deepish leagues. In a ten-team league, you can get Wilson off the waiver wire if he starts to heat up.

Round 2, Pick 34 Overall: Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss (5’9” 185 pounds)
Depth Chart:
WR1:     Corey Davis
WR2:     Denzel Mims
WR3:     Elijah Moore
WR4:     Jamison Crowder
WR5:     Keelan Cole

Elijah Moore does a little bit of everything, and at one inch and two pounds shorter than Antonio Brown, the comparisons are easy. He can catch everything and is an incredible all-around athlete. Whatever you need Moore to do, he can do it. To whit, his first two targets against Mississippi State in 2020: a bubble screen catch and run on first and ten that went for a first down, and a 50+ yard bomb. Moore is explosive as all get out and has incredible hands. I love Moore, and his exceptional YAC skills should give the New York Jets a great day two snag at the top of the second round.


I’m not entirely sure how much Elijah Moore can perform this season, and that has little to do with his talent level. It has more to do with the rookie quarterback throwing him the football. Since 2010, 15 first-round quarterbacks have thrown at least 450 passes. Of these guys, their top option finished as a top-24 WR five times. Those five wide receivers were Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne, Jarvis Landry, Keenan Allen and Mike Evans. Fade Elijah Moore this season, since I doubt he ends the year with enough targets or opportunity to matter.


See the above. I love the guy but I don’t love the weapons of rookie quarterbacks. You can snag him as a WR4 or WR5 but I don’t anticipate big things out of Moore in his rookie season.

Round 4, Pick 107 Overall: Michael Carter, Running Back, North Carolina (5’8” 199 pounds)
Depth Chart:
RB?:       La’Mical Perine
RB?:       Michael Carter
RB?:       Ty Johnson
RB4:       Tevin Coleman

I was hesitant to give the comparison for what I saw for Michael Carter, but here we are: LeSean McCoy. Obviously, I don’t think he is going to be one of the most dynamic football players in the NFL, that would be insane. But, he’s fast, slippery, with good enough hands and he can just make his way away from everyone with relative ease. He was the Lightning to Javonte Williams’ Thunder at UNC, and both just did an incredible job of running away from defenses. He’s a little light in the britches and tends to go down if he is hit hard, but he always falls forward and rarely loses yards. The downside to his natural ability is that he constantly tries to hit a home run, to the detriment of getting solid yardage on carries where a homer doesn’t exist.


The depth chart is all question marks, except I know Tevin Coleman is The Worst. He should get a shot at some point to produce this season, but who knows how big or sustained that shot will be. After all, LaFleur comes from the Kyle Shanahan School of Running Back Usage. Shanahan has had one running back touch the ball more than 180 times in his four years in San Francisco. It’s entirely possible—and an event I’m betting on—that the New York Jets have as frustrating a split as the 49ers.


I think that Michael Carter deserves a spot on rosters but as a speculative play. People are already talking like he has some amazing path forward to production. He is likely the best running back in that room, so I want to take a shot on him for that reason. But, don’t be surprised or especially agitated if the situation is just frustrating all year. He could return a home run or be horribly inconsistent and frustrating to have on your roster.

Draft him for a shot at the upside, but don’t build a draft strategy around having him on your fantasy football roster.

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About Jeff Krisko

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